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   Undertoad  Tuesday Jul 22 11:41 AM

7/22/2003: Palestinian bloodletting quackery



I'm sure there's a long history of bloodletting and how it's been a substitute for real medicine, but here we see that this history is not yet over. This is from last week's MSNBC Week in Pics and apparently shows a man getting treatment for headaches from a Palestinian doctor in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. The caption says this same treament is used for "rheumatism, cancer, infertility, high blood pressure, eczema and a variety of other ailments."



OnyxCougar  Tuesday Jul 22 11:57 AM

I've heard of cases where people have gotten every other treatment possible with no improvement in their condition, so they try leeches (or bloodletting) and miraculously recover.



dave  Tuesday Jul 22 12:05 PM

"miraculously" being the key word there.



tweek  Tuesday Jul 22 02:37 PM

How does it work?

How do the glass balls draw the blood out? It appears as though they are suctioned onto his back, so I guess if there's a vacuum in there it would help draw the blood out? How do they create the vacuum?

I wonder ir it's something nasty like they press the globe to his back with a small tube inside, then suck some air out, and then slip the tube out?



dave  Tuesday Jul 22 02:41 PM

It looks like they're burning a piece of paper inside it to create suction. This works rather well - get a beaker, light a piece of paper on fire, put it inside, stick the beaker on your forehead and wait a few minutes.



wolf  Tuesday Jul 22 02:43 PM

It looks like what the practitioner (I can't bring myself to use the word doctor) is doing here is a variation of cupping. I hadn't seen cupping associated with bloodletting, though. (I'm reminded of Steve Martin on Saturday Night Live doing the Medieval Barber Surgeon sketch ... "We'll have to bleed him!")

The glass jars are affixed to the skin by means of a vacuum formed by heating the tops of the jars. The things people will pay for ...

That being said, however, our friend the leech is getting a second try in the medical world ... they are being used to assist in restoring circulation following limb reattachment surgeries.

Other seemingly icky treatments include using maggots to debride infected wounds (they work cheaper than even medical residents).



tweek  Tuesday Jul 22 02:44 PM

Oh Yeah

I have given blood periodically since I was 17. I swear it makes you feel better, or maybe it's just psychological impact of knowing that a portion of your blood is "fresh" from the marrow in the weeks following. Sort of like the psychological effect of being skinny and then getting muscular, when your new muscles are fresh. Nevermind me man I'm a bit futzed at the moment.

Anyways I tried to give blood on Friday night and they TURNED ME DOWN in the screening process. Apparently they don't want the blood of people who have partied a little too hard in the past year.



OnyxCougar  Tuesday Jul 22 03:15 PM

I gave blood regularly and was an organ donor until Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease ran rampant. Since there is still no test available to screen the incoming blood for C-J, anyone who lived in the UK for more than 3 months from 1980 - 1998 is not able to give blood or be an organ donor.

CJD Information

A site on leeches

CNN story on bloodletting in India, 1998




e unibus plurum  Tuesday Jul 22 03:19 PM

Re: 7/22/2003: Palestinian bloodletting quackery

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
treatment for headaches
I'm stickin' to 2 aspirin.


warch  Tuesday Jul 22 03:47 PM

I sold plasma a few times when I was a really poor student. Finally the desperate vibe of the "center" freaked me out. That and getting my vein "infiltrated" by a gum popping phlebotomist wannabe with press-on nails. I can still see her running her gigantic nails down my dangling tube wondering aloud why I've stopped filling my bag. Ow. I almost passed out. I got really pale and cold. I remember that "Terms of Endearment" was on the TV- Debra Winger spiraling down. They gave me cookies and Tang.

When I suggested that I would gladly just call it a day, she said if I'd wait, they could separate what theyve got, poke me on the other side, and give me "my juice (whole blood) back". No. Thank you. Bye forever. Big nasty bruise on my sore forearm.

I still give blood on occasion, but cant watch the needle. I can't say that I've ever felt any related burst of refreshment.



Guey  Tuesday Jul 22 03:48 PM

Well letting the leeches suck the blood out of you is better than letting the alternative bloodsuckers do the job...lawyers.



perth  Tuesday Jul 22 05:21 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by OnyxCougar
...anyone who lived in the UK for more than 3 months from 1980 - 1998 is not able to give blood or be an organ donor.
unless that rule went into effect less than 2 months ago, thats not true. my sister was an organ / tissue donor, and we lived in england from 1988 - 1990.

~james


OnyxCougar  Tuesday Jul 22 05:36 PM

Then she slipped through.

Most countries now restrict blood donations from those who lived in the UK, including Australia, Canada and the United States.

Canada Blood Service page

Australia Blood Donor Page (PDF)

United States FDA and University of Houston Donation restrictions

And the following is criteria in Hawaii as of May 2002:

What are the new deferral criteria?
As of May 15, 2002, people with a history of the following are no longer eligible to donate blood:

  • Residence in the U.K. for 3 months or more, between 1980 and 1996.
  • Recipients of a blood transfusion in the U.K., between 1980 and the present.
  • Residence in Europe for five years or more, between 1980 and the present.
  • Military personnel (current and former) and their dependents, who spent time on military bases in Europe for six months or more between 1980 and 1996.




perth  Tuesday Jul 22 06:02 PM

hmm, i guess im of two minds on that then. if she did 'slip through', on one hand im glad she did, because she saved several lives and that has served to be a great comfort to me.

on the other hand, while im quite sure she did not have the disease in question, i find it somewhat disconcerting. the donor program folks asked specifically if she lived in europe and when we replied in the affirmative, they asked for details. so i have to wonder where the breakdown was.

after searching myself, the only thing i could really find was here. while that page discusses blood donation, i imagine the rules for organ / tissue donation would be much the same.

~james



OnyxCougar  Tuesday Jul 22 06:06 PM

I was really upset when they began the deferrment. I had donated every 3 months for many years, then suddenly I couldn't donate any more, and I couldn't be an organ donor.

Now, with these new restrictions, there is a huge shortage of blood donors, and the nation's blood supply is at critical levels. There isn't a damn thing I can do about it. *sigh*



Leah  Tuesday Jul 22 06:14 PM

There is no way on this earth that I would ever let a leech or a maggot anywhere near my body to suck blood. Makes me want to vomit just thinking about it.



Happy Monkey  Tuesday Jul 22 06:23 PM

Really?

Leah,
One time when I was a young lad, I was wading in a lake. When I got out, I had a whole family of leeches on my leg. A big black momma leech and about ten little white baby leeches. It took forever to pull them off...

[wanders away, whistling nonchalantly...]



OnyxCougar  Tuesday Jul 22 06:25 PM

How did you get em off? Did you like burn em off or get a razor? Details!!



SteveDallas  Tuesday Jul 22 06:52 PM

smartass question

So what do UK blood banks do for blood????

My wife is not supposed to give blood because she had mono & it caused her to have a false positive for hepatitis.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Jul 22 07:21 PM

Blood letting definately works.
If for instance, all the people with high blood pressure slashed their wrists, there would be a lot less people with high blood pressure.:p



Leah  Tuesday Jul 22 07:23 PM

Happy Monkey how horrible that must have been.
I can remember about 15 yrs ago I was visiting friends who lived up near Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, ( they were neighbours of mine here in Sydney, city folk) they moved their family up there so I went and visited. We found a leech and we were playing with it when all of a sudden at attached itself to the palm of my hand, well you have never heard a girl scream so loud like I did, my scream echoed through the mountains/valley and everyone around me where in a fit of laughter whilst I was running around screaming for help. Now I look back at it it was rather funny, but very scary. I always remember that move that River Phoenix was in where a huge leech attached itself the one of the boys penis. What was that movie called again?



OnyxCougar  Tuesday Jul 22 07:24 PM

That would suck!



Griff  Tuesday Jul 22 08:03 PM

Re: smartass question

Quote:
Originally posted by SteveDallas
So what do UK blood banks do for blood????
I've got a relative in the blood business. They used to move a lot of product overseas including Germany and Japan but I don't know about the UK.


elSicomoro  Tuesday Jul 22 08:32 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Leah
I always remember that move that River Phoenix was in where a huge leech attached itself the one of the boys penis. What was that movie called again?
Stand By Me


Leah  Tuesday Jul 22 08:39 PM

That's right, thanks for that.



tweek  Tuesday Jul 22 10:52 PM

Howzabout a leech on your eye!?

My buddy was vacationing in Australia when he got leech attached to his eyeball! There was a lump under his eyelid for the whole two hour drive back to civilization. The doctors left him under a hot lamp for fifteen minutes and the leech fell out from under his eye.



OnyxCougar  Wednesday Jul 23 01:41 AM

How in the HELL do you get a leech attached to your eyeball?????



Timeless  Wednesday Jul 23 03:17 AM

Donating blood

Quote:
Originally posted by OnyxCougar
I was really upset when they began the deferrment. I had donated every 3 months for many years, then suddenly I couldn't donate any more, and I couldn't be an organ donor.
Yeah - it's the same for me - I lived in England my whole life until 1999 when I moved to Brussels - I started giving blood in about 2001, but after a couple of times (they take it anyway, then throw it away if you fail screening) I received a letter asking me to stop donating...

It's a shame - I'd always been a bit nervous about giving blood, and once I got over it and started, I was told that I had to stop. Bah!

-- Pete.


Happy Monkey  Wednesday Jul 23 07:48 AM

Low tech solution

Quote:
Originally posted by OnyxCougar
How did you get em off? Did you like burn em off or get a razor? Details!!
I was at a gathering of my extended family, and my various uncles just pulled them off. I was pretty young, so my memory isn't 100% clear, but I do remember that they really can stretch.


hairdog  Wednesday Jul 23 08:14 AM

As a lawyer for Medicare, I had a case where a lady had a pressure sore on her leg and when they unwrapped the dressings, 150 maggots fell out. So they cleaned her up, dressed the wound again, and about a week later, 30 or so more maggots. Then, she ended up at the hospital about a week or so later...you guessed it, more maggots. The nursing home presented several arguments in its defense: that the maggots could have hatched within 12 hours after a fly landed on her; that she must have gotten them when she went outside; that maggots only eat dead tissue so they were beneficial, etc. I jumped all over the last argument: the screw-fly maggot eats both live and dead tissue, so it's not beneficial...and, of course, where is the informed consent of the patient? Maggot therapy does exist, but they use (sexually) sterile and very clean maggots.

Sorry. Had to rant. Back to work now.

Harry



juju  Wednesday Jul 23 10:33 AM

Wow.. you're a lawyer??



Unknown_Poltroon  Wednesday Jul 23 11:51 AM

Re: Howzabout a leech on your eye!?

Quote:
Originally posted by tweek
My buddy was vacationing in Australia when he got leech attached to his eyeball! There was a lump under his eyelid for the whole two hour drive back to civilization. The doctors left him under a hot lamp for fifteen minutes and the leech fell out from under his eye.
Thanks. When i wake up scereaming in the night clawing at my eyes, ill know who to thank.

ANd if you like that, look up eyeworms!!
http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~parasite/loa.html
PAybacks a bitch.


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jul 23 06:08 PM

Quote:
Wow.. you're a lawyer??
And an expert on maggots and leaches.
Sorry, Hairdog, that was uncalled for and tactless......but I couldn't help myself.


hairdog  Thursday Jul 24 10:05 AM

That's okay, Bruce. I did become somewhat of an expert on maggots...was able to destroy the testimony of the other side's expert. And, as far as leeches are concerned...remember, I'm a government attorney. The real bloodsuckers are in the private bar...like my wife. :^)



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Jul 24 04:10 PM

Boy, are you gonna get it. Come to think of it, no you're not.



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